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Friday, December 2, 2022

Nikki Finke, a scathing Hollywood chronicler, has passed away at the age of 68

Nikki Finke, the caustic and widely read entertainment reporter and blogger who broke Hollywood news, irritated moguls, and in 2006 founded the website Deadline Hollywood Daily, which is now simply known as Deadline, passed away on Sunday in Boca Raton, Florida. Finke was known for her acerbic writing style and widespread readership. She was also known for antagonising moguls. It was the year 68.

Madelyn Hammond, who acted as a spokesperson for her family, broke the news of her passing, stating simply that she had been unwell for a very long time.

Ms. Finke began her career as a journalist with The Associated Press in 1975. Prior to that, she spent some time working as a staff assistant in the Washington office of Representative Edward I. Koch, a Democrat from New York who would go on to become the mayor of New York City. At the beginning of the 1980s, she made the shift to The Dallas Morning News. After that, she worked for Newsweek, The Los Angeles Times, and other other publications until beginning a column in LA Weekly called Deadline Hollywood in the year 2002.

She mixed reportage and gossip in a lively style that took no prisoners, whether she was revealing to the world who would host the Oscars, detailing the dealings that took place between stars and agents, or analysing the deals that were made by top executives. She did this both there and on the Deadline website.

David Carr of The New York Times said in 2013 that “Ms. Finke is the queen of the ritual sacrifice” after she was responsible for “roasting industry executives like Marc Shmuger of Universal and Ben Silverman of NBC until they caught fire and ended up being fired from their positions.”

That didn’t bother her at all.

In 2006, she gave an interview to Jon Friedman of MarketWatch for a story that featured the title “In-Your-Face Finke Keeps Hollywood Honest.” In the interview, she said that “If there’s an open sore, I’m going to rub salt in it.”

Ms. Finke was the opposite of the entertainment journalists who show up at every event with a red carpet and compete with one another for sound bites. She was often referred to be a recluse, and in 2009, the website Gawker offered a monetary reward of one thousand dollars in exchange for a current image of her.

Executives were not the only people she had her sights set on. Her hatred extended to all kind of sacred cows, including the Sundance Film Festival, which is held in the state of Utah.

In an interview with Vulture in 2015, Ms. Finke reflected on her career and reputation as she was working on a new initiative, a fiction website called Hollywood Dementia. At the time, she had left the entertainment journalism sector and was working on her new company.

Brad Grey, who was the chairman of Paramount Pictures during Ms. Finke’s heyday, was one of the people who was put in an awkward position.

Nikki Jean Finke was born in Manhattan on December 16th, 1953. Her parents, Robert and Doris Finke, were her parents.

As she was growing up in Sands Point, which is located on the North Shore of Long Island, she “ran in an Upper East Side social stratum,” as she put it in an essay that was published in The Times in 2005. The essay lamented the decline of the Plaza Hotel, which is where her mother would take her and her sister for afternoon tea in the late 1950s.

Nikki and her sister, Terry, accompanied their parents on many of their trips since they travelled regularly. In a different piece that she wrote in 2005 for The Times, Ms. Finke described her mother’s fixation with travelling around Europe and living in the best hotels that the continent had to offer while doing so.

Ms. Finke was a debutante, and she made her public appearance for the first time in 1971 at the International Debutante Ball in New York. She received her diplomas from Buckley Country Day School in North Hills, which is located on Long Island, and the Hewitt School, which is located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. After that, she attended Wellesley College, where she worked on the campus newspaper known as The Wellesley News and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science.

Her childhood adventures served as excellent preparation for her profession as a foreign news reporter for the Associated Press, which required her to travel extensively.

She was known for publishing rumours and innuendo as well as occasionally being a little bit ahead of events, which earned her the reputation of not playing by the same rules as mainstream media in her entertainment column and blog. The exclamation “Toldja!” was one of her favourites to say whenever anything that she had predicted truly took place. “Toldja!”

Beginning Deadline at a period of time when the financial model for independent online publishing businesses was unknown was something of a leap of faith for the founders of the company. However, the website was successful, and in 2009, she sold it to a firm owned by Jay Penske. That business is now known as Penske Media Corporation. She continued in her role as editor in chief despite their numerous disagreements, which led to the two of them parting ways in 2013.

David Faber
I am a Business Journalist of The National Era
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